Well, I'm sitting on my bed in the loft of the chalet. No way they built this room with a 5'10” person in mind. Agathe and I are sharing it. Not gonna lie, this week is already the kind of adventure you enjoy remembering a lot more than you enjoy being on it.
I took the train down to Ardeche on Thursday. I love Ardeche. Anne picked me up at the station around 1:00 and after lunch an intense game of tag where I was it with the kids we went to one of the cities dating from the 1100's for a walk. The weather was in the 60's and with the sun out we got pretty hot walking around. I was given the same room with a queen sized bed. The room also entails a salle de bain.
If you don't know what a salle de bain is let me enlighten you. Before I came to Paris I knew that there was something odd about the bathrooms but I never was really clear on what until I experienced it at the house in Ardeche. At the Bonnailies there are regular bathrooms and half baths and it's all very normal. Well it's not quite like that in Ardeche. I will never understand how in the separation of bathroom elements they ended up with what they call a salle de bain and a W.C.. In the salle de bain there is everything you could want in a bathroom...except the toilet. In a W.C. there is nothing you want in a bathroom.....except a toilet. There really is nothing in this but a toilet. No mirror, no trash can, and most importantly, no sink. It's rediculous. Why would I want a sink in a bathroom solely for showering? This can only promote bad hand washing habits.
So now that I have that out of the way; I had a salle de bain and everyone sort of shares one or two toilets. It's so weird, I can't get my head around it. Usually there are more toilets than showers but that is not the case here. Anyway, we left Ardeche to drive roughly four hours to a ski resort near Briancon. Well, that four hour plan rested on a pass remaining open. Because that pass didn't stay open we went instead on a eight hour trip. The view was beautiful...especially when I was trying to maneuver the stick around the tightest mountain curvy roads I've ever seen. Yeah, I drove a couple of those hours. I hope if I'm doing any of the driving back to Paris it will be in the daylight hours.
We arrived at the chalet at around five and met the family we're staying with. I've met them before. They have four kids and are pretty cool. The thing is, that many people in a little place can get pretty hectic. My strategy is to just sit with a book and by drawing little attention I can also minimize the participation. Not that I don't participate, I just happen to be staying in the coolest room in the chalet so there is no place to go to get away from all the craziness. AND the internet is only by cable and someone else has pretty much monopolized that from the first moment. I was welcome to check my email but those keyboards are kind of terrible.
My first lesson was really nice. It's an English class and everyone is really English. I'm the only non-English one. It was snowing and really foggy so the long ski trail/slope down the mountain was beautiful. I'm really happy with the ski part of this trip so far. Family issues and the length of this trip have rendered other parts of it a little difficult but it will be good and when we get back things will all settle down.